Wednesday, March 15, 2017

One Word Writing Prompt: Lesson

I'm still in massive production mode on the book project. Unfortunately, that means the blog is taking a back-seat. When I do this to my poor blog, it doesn't just sit there, at peace with its neglect. It kind of taps at the back of my skull.  Like, why have you forsaken me? I've been here for you for twelve long years.

"Just write some short posts sometimes," Dan said when I explained the trouble to him yesterday. And, he's right. Let's just keep it alive.

Here's what I'm keeping it alive with today. A one-word writing prompt called, "Lesson." It's #2 on this list. Seems almost too easy for a teacher, no?

In English 7, I get four lessons per week to achieve my teaching goals. That's not a lot for a literacy educator - four, fifty-minute lessons. Monday's lesson is designed to get students ready to read a book called Nothing But the Truth by Avi. We used a time-honored activity called an anticipation guide. What you do is this: You pose a controversial statement to the group that reflects a theme in the piece you're reading, and then the kids tell you what they think about it. Sometimes they argue.

They argued hard about the statement, "We should say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the national anthem regularly at school." They also had strong feelings about, "If you don't like a teacher, you should consider switching to a different teacher."

Yesterday, a girl raised her hand and said, "When we did this yesterday, I couldn't imagine how these statements would all relate to the same book, but now I see they do."

See? Lesson planning. It sometimes works out.


LH said...

Writing short crappy posts is my strategy for staying in the game right now.

I do like this one word prompt deal.

I love the lesson and your student's comment.


MQW said...

🍀Happy St. Patrick's! ☘. Love your student's comment. I wish we had you do this for our book club.....sometimes we need an anticipatory set!

Just lead the Colson's Undergraound Railroad book discussion. It was a rich conversation including the comments of a woman who grew up in the Deep South and found that it made her very uncomfortable and sad. As a teen in the 60's, she felt powerless to change her living environment.

With that book, what would the questions be? Do you believe that people have the right to claim ownership of other people? Does the writing of history need to be accurate for it foster insights and empathy in readers?

We were all schocked at his loose use of history...but agreed the book had a positive impact on us.